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Archive for the ‘Whooo hooo!!!’ Category

I’ve spent years learning to listen to my body and eat in a way that is satisfying to me and fuels my life.  It’s been a slow progression for me, though I’ve felt in a rut with it for a good long while, but I’ve had a breakthrough that I think is worth sharing:

Finding a physical activity that I really love has made eating well really easy all of a sudden, because I want to have the feel good enough and have the stamina to bike.  Maybe I had it backwards before.  I was waiting to feel better (meaning less under siege from IBS symptoms) to add some more physical activity in my life.  I would try and try and I just couldn’t get there.  Perhaps it is just hard to do nice things for yourself (like eat well) when you’re frustrated from not really living life.

What do I mean by eating well?  I simply mean eating in a way that is healthy for me, is satisfying and doesn’t trigger the IBS monster.  It has meant no longer force-feeding myself the vegetables that make me sick and eating more fruit that doesn’t make me sick.  It has meant not being afraid to drink a 7-Up, if my tummy is acting up, even if the old eating disordered troll in my head wants to complain about the calories (“You eat so much sweet stuff already!  Do you really have to drink this stuff that doesn’t taste that great to you yet still has calories, but will make you feel hugely better when you’re having a nauseous day?!?”).  It means I eat cookies when I want to, but it is intuitive not to go overboard on them, because I won’t be able to go out and play if I do, because I’ll be too sick.  This morning it meant carrot cake and tea for breakfast.  I am finding more ways to get protein in my diet (I am mostly vegetarian and married to a man allergic to soy/nuts, so this gets complicated).

My digestive system approves.  My IBS has flared up a little here and there, but not nearly as often as it has in the last five years – about once week now compared to three or four times a week before.  I feel so much better and I’m having fun.  Yay HAES and Fatosphere for helping to make this possible.

 

–AngryGrayRainbows

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Like many women and even men, for my whole adult life, I have been afraid to wear a bathing suit.  Approx two years ago, I tried to challenge this and, in a lot of ways, I succeeded.

But, on one day, I was feeling particularly vulnerable.  I went to swim at the gym (as usual) and all went well.  It was in the locker room that it happened.  This woman looked me up and down and looked at me with such disgust.  She actually sneered.  I have never forgotten her face and every time I wanted to swim, I literally became nauseas with the memory of her face and her disgust.

This summer, the husband and I went on vacation.  The lake cottage was hot and there was no AC.  I had a bathing suit packed, as always, just in case I worked up the courage to swim… and I decided to take the bull by the horns.

It was terrifying.  That woman’s face was swimming around in my head.  I couldn’t breathe.  I became sure that my husband would divorce me once he saw how horrific I looked in a bathing suit.  I started to remember an old relationship that ended in large part because I got treatment for my eating disorder and dared to gain weight.  I was sure there would be a replay of that experience with my marriage.

I swam anyway.  Every single day we were there.  Oh yeah, it was awesome.

Even after I had swam twice, the fear of being divorced for wearing a bathing suit (yes, I know now and knew then how ridiculous that sounds) became so bad that I had to tell the hubby about it.  He was so supportive, understanding and knew just how to laugh at my fears so as to validate that they were unfounded fears, but not make me feel like an idiot.

That woman and her sneer is still in my head, but she’s not ruling me any longer.  Her sneer was about her and not me and it is wonderful to fully understand this after a long time of being owned by the memory, even if it still makes me queasy every time I think of it.

I’ve been out.  I’ve been having fun.  I’ve been riding my bike, even though some jerk yelled something about my ass the very first time I took my bike out last year and that memory too haunted me and prevented me from biking very much until now.  The very day he yelled at me, I considered that he actually meant it as a compliment (it is unclear), but the possibility that he didn’t gripped me so tightly that it was hard to go out an exercise in the daylight for fear of more commentary.

You know what?  Fuck their comments.

This is my life and it is mine to life.  My body is no one’s business by my own.  I am enjoying myself and having so much fun going out and biking (and this winter, I will probably join a gym for more swimming too!) and I’m not letting prejudice get in the way of that.

I have also been repeating to myself over and over “function – not form” to remind myself how wonderful it is to be physically capable and stronger and just feel better from exercise.

I let myself circle a particularly beautiful garden on the bike path that is often filled with butterflies as many times as I want, no matter what anyone thinks about this silly woman going round and found breathing in the scents.  Maybe I can inspire someone else to have that courage to enjoy them self as well.  That would be worth enduring a few looks and comments.

I often think about my history of a complete focus on form over function of too many years of my life that included my eating disordered years.  I wouldn’t have cared if someone completely scooped out my insides – all my muscles, thoughts, feelings and anything that made me who I was – if I could have a perfect exterior that everyone would approve of and worship.  I giggle to myself at the memories while riding my bike, because in the light of so much fun and feeling good the idea of the form obsession becomes utterly ridiculous.

I’m not posting a picture of myself in a bathing suit.  I’m not ready for that yet.  I’m also not sure that if I was confident enough to do it that I’d even do it then.  If I ever get to that level, we shall see.  Instead, I give you a picture of my smiling face flush after a day of really living life and having some serious fun.

–AngryGrayRainbows

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sun behind the clouds near sunsetToday is Friday.  It’s the last day of my work week.  I love Fridays!

My husband has gone for the weekend to visit his parents about 3 to 3 1/2 hours away and it’s just going to be me and the dog all weekend.  Can you say AWESOME!?!  My plans?  I have none. 

Today is a new day and I woke up feeling good not only because it’s Friday but because I read my responses to yesterday’s blog entry last night before I went to bed.  I woke up knowing I wasn’t alone.  I also woke up knowing there are people out there that believe and live knowing that fat phobia is WRONG!  I woke up feeling validated!!

The sun is peeking out from behind the clouds and the chill is still in the air.  I’m finished Christmas shopping and I’m going to make candy and bake cookies this weekend.  I might even go hit a couple of clothing sales for me tomorrow (I need some long sleeved shirts and blouses for work). 

I’m feeling good and accepted today.  I’m accepting myself today and that’s always a good thing, right?  I hope you all have a great weekend and I’ll see ya later!

~sas

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I’m one of only a few who showed up to work today.  I’m sitting at my desk listening to Christmas music and just tying up some odds and ends that are hard to tend to when there are people are coming in and out all the time.

I read through some other blogs a few minutes ago and many of them are concentrating on the positives and the things to be thankful for this time of the year so I thought I would follow suit.

It seems we all experience some sort of stress during this time and I’ve had my share of it this week!  After a sad and hurtful exchange with my hubby, it’s been decided that I will stay home with the dog while he drives 7 hours to our yearly family reunion.  Don’t get me wrong, staying home does not sadden me in the least but the conversation we had about it is what was so hurtful.

So I’m turning this around and finding the positives.

  • Staying home with the dog will allow me to decorate the house at my own pace and the way I want
  • I’m thankful for my house and the space I have to decorate
  • I love my dog and at this point, I’d rather spend time with my dog than my husband…tee hee
  • I’m thankful for my husband (most days)
  • I’m very thankful for my rescued yellow labrador retriever who doesn’t know how to be stressed
  • I’ll be able to make some changes around the house I’ve been wanting to do without hubby’s supervision (like changing out some mini-blinds)
  • I’m thankful for my savings account that will allow me to get the money needed to buy the mini-blinds
  • I can watch my chick flick Christmas movies or listen to Christmas music whenever I want
  • I can eat where, when and what I want
  • I can Christmas shop by myself for as long as I want (again, I’m thankful for that savings account)
  • I can sleep in
  • I’m thankful for the most comfortable bed I know of
  • I’m planning on taking a hot jacuzzi bath
  • I can lounge all day and read if that’s what I want to do
  • I’ll fix a fire in my outdoor fireplace, get a glass of wine and sit on the back patio reading my book or listening to some nice calm music
  • I’ll enjoy a STRESS FREE holiday!!!!

How’s that for positives and thankfulness?!?  Woo hoo, bring it on Thanksgiving!

~sas

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I have literally been chomping at the bit to post and it seems obstacles have come at me from every direction.

First, I got terribly ill around Christmas…so much so that my doc wanted to admit me into the hospital but I talked him into letting me stay at home, take my meds and go to his office four times a day for breathing treatments.  I’m finally, after over a week of coughing, hacking and blowing my nose, coming back to some sort of routine in my life.

The obstacle that pissed me off the most though, was the fact that our internet service didn’t work at home since around Christmas and we’ve had techs to our house and tried repair calls over the phone 5 or 6 times.  My husband and I have been trying to scratch out messages from our phones but it’s nothing like having a full keyboard and monitor in front of you at your disposal.

So today I’m at a working computer with my box of kleenex and cough drops at the ready and I’m READY TO BLOG!

I know it sounds cliche’ to say at the beginning of a new year that you are inspired to begin anew but I really do feel that way.  Anyone who has known me for very long knows that I tend to take detours from recovery, normalcy, sanity, etc…from time to time.  It’s like I just have to give myself a break to begin anew (there’s that phrase again).  Well, I’ve taken my break of a few months and I’m ready to get back on that recovery road!!!

As a point of reference I’m going to give a little background which a lot of you already know but it’s what my recovery is all about so I’m going to share it with you.

I was born in a little shack, no, no, no!!! 

I was born 46 years ago.  I was raised by fanatically religious parents  to believe that I would never be good enough…good enough at or for anything.  I was raised to believe I was bound for hell and that I would never be good enough to change that…although I should try to live “perfectly” every day of my life and never sin.  (that’s a whole ‘nother blog)

Food, eating, self-loathing and self-degradation became a way of life for me very early on.  The cycle became fierce.  Eat, hate myself, eat some to comfort myself, hate myself some more, food will make it better, hate myself even more.  You know the drill.  During all these years I was going to therapy and never felt that anything was changing.  I wasn’t “getting it”.

In January 2005, I made a visit with my hubby to his therapist and that’s when his therapist informed me I had an eating disorder known as compulsive overeating (COE) and that I needed to get treatment for it or it would only get worse.  He spoke very candidly to me and told me he didn’t know of any local therapists who could help me because the ED specialists in our area focused on anorexia and bulimia.  He suggested I get help online.

I went online that night and found a community that I felt would support my recovery effort and would encourage me to get the help I needed to work through some of the issues I had with food and eating.  I stayed in that online community for three years and even though I came to see that their version of recovery and my version of recovery are different, I know in my heart I would not be as far along as I am now without the help of some of the wonderful people I met on that site.

So where am I in my recovery now?  Well, I guess I need to define for you what I believe my recovery is.  SELF ACCEPTANCE.  Plain and simple.  Am I recovered?  No, not completely.  I still have my days where the pity party comes at me with horns blowing and balloons flying that say, “poor pitiful Sas”.  But am I closer to recovery now than I was in January 2005 when that therapist told me I had COE?  Hell yeah!

The main thing that triggered me to blog about this has been my recent illness.  I went to the doctor when I first got sick on December 23.  Doctor’s visits can be such telling events in your life.  That particular visit was a real eye opener to me.

I go into the doc’s office feeling like shit and coughing my fool head off and I sit in the nurse’s area while she takes my BP and temperature.  Fine and fine.  I even commented, “yeah, I’m the healthiest fat person I know”, because I’ve never had BP issues, cholestrol, sugar issues, etc…  She weighs me and though the numbers don’t really bother me much anymore, I didn’t look at the weight.  I was escorted to my exam room and waited on my doc to come in and see what my problem was.  He prances in (ok, maybe prance is a bit too fluff because he was worn out from seeing so many patients but) and he looks at my chart.  As he’s looking at it I’m coughing loudly and deeply and my lungs are wheezing to beat the band, he looks at me and says, “I don’t know what’s caused the cough but you need to keep it up.  You’ve lost 20 pounds.”  (I guess it’s been a couple of months since I’d seen him last)

WTF?????  Excuse me??????  I said, “I know you think that’s funny but doesn’t it concern you in the least that I’ve lost 20 pounds without even trying?”  I mean I’ve been trying to eat intuitively and listen to my body but I haven’t noticed a huge change in my eating.  He gave me this long speech about how if I were already skinny or thin and had lost 20 pounds, it would concern him.  But since I could stand to lose 120 more, it doesn’t concern him.

Excuse me while I get out my handy dandy soap box a moment…

YOU MEAN BECAUSE I’M FAT ALREADY THEN WEIGHT LOSS IS NOT A HEALTH ISSUE THAT MIGHT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED MORE CLOSELY! ?!?!?  You mean because I’m fat already, I don’t get the same care and concern that a “normal” woman would get????  You mean because I weigh almost 300 pounds, a 20 pound unexplained weight loss doesn’t concern you?????  You mean to tell me that I should REMAIN ILL FOR THE SAKE OF LOSING WEIGHT???????  DO YOU KNOW WHAT A FREAKIN’ EATING DISORDER IS?????????????  You just defined it in that insane statement you just made!  Stay sick to lose weight….are you kidding me??????

Ok, soap box tucked back away under the bed for now.

I will say that in some way I was elated to know that I had lost 20 pounds in such a short amount of time but it still concerns me that there really is no reason for such a weight loss.  I even had thoughts like, “oooooh, 20 pounds!  How did I do it?  Why question it?  Just accept it!  Eat less and make it 30!!”  You know, those disordered thoughts that come with never feeling good enough, thin enough, pretty enough, perfect enough.  I even have to admit that I obsessed for a few days on the words “you lost 20 pounds”.  I know there are so many in the world who would love to hear those four words.

So where am I in recovery?  I’m where I can say I’m no longer obsessed about those 20 pounds.  If I lost them (which I still somehow doubt and think that the doc’s scale was screwed up) then that’s great.  It doesn’t change who I am, where I am, who I’m with or anything else for that matter.  My recovery tells me that I’m fine just the way I am right now, at this moment in time.  Change is good and if I want to change anything about me then that’s my perrogative.  However, if I were to stay the way I am for the rest of my life, the earth would not spin off it’s axis and life would continue on.

And as for my ED-ignorant physician?  Well, I won’t stop going to him but I won’t depend on him for ED sympathies either.  That’s ok.  Another thing I’ve learned about ED’s is:  “ignorance is bliss”.  My doc believes his stuff, I believe mine.  I’m strong enough in my recovery to ignore his stupidity on such issues.

Well, there it is…my first post for the new year.  I hope you guys are safe and sound and that this new year will bring you much joy and SELF ACCEPTANCE!

~sas

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The recent realizations I have made have led me to a rebirth of sorts.  I’m feeling new feelings and actually experiencing some self acceptance rather than just talking about it.  I’ve gotta say, it’s a great feeling!

I wanted to share with you an AHA moment I had the other morning.  (Keep in mind that my cultish religion would constantly remind me, 24/7, that I was condemned to hell and could never be good enough.)

I got out of bed like I do every morning and I went to the dog bowl and fed the dog.  I went from the dog bowl to the shower to start running the water.  I woke up still knowing that I had to release myself from these erroneous beliefs I had so entrenched in my heart.  I had not slept well because I was making all these new realizations about the pseudo-Christianity I had been raised by but I was also too excited to sleep because I had found someone online (actually several people) who had experienced exactly what I did and had been freed from the constant feeling of condemnation.  A whole new world was opening up for me.

So I’m standing in the shower and I start telling myself, “You’re forgiven.  You’re forgiven.  You’re forgiven.”  I say that over and over like other affirmations I’ve used the past few years.  And that’s when it hit me!  “Why are you even trying to convince yourself you’re forgiven when you haven’t even gotten out the door yet!  You haven’t done anything wrong!”  That’s when that giant lightbulb went off!!  That’s when I realized I was starting a new day…a new life…I had a new outlook!  I had not done one damn thing to make myself feel guilty yet I was still asking for forgiveness in that I was trying to convince myself I was forgiven. 

That’s how programmed and brainwashed I have been.  I woke up feeling guilty.  I wouldn’t step foot on the ground without feeling guilty.  What kind of life is that?  It’s a life of fear and dread.

Now some of you may ask, “why is she posting about this ‘religious’ stuff on a blog about fat acceptance and intuitive eating/living.”

I am a compulsive overeater.  I know there are fat folks out there who do not have “issues” but I am one who does.  I have issues out the wazoo and the way I’ve coped all these years has been to numb out and to avoid feelings by diverting my energy and thoughts to eating and food.  I’ve pussyfooted around this religion issue for so many years because I don’t think I’ve had the strength to really tackle it until now.  I believe that this issue with my former religion is the crux of my emotional distress and until I confront it head on I won’t be able to move forward in my recovery.

I have to take a minute here to make clear to everyone that my goal is not to lose weight…my goal is to be physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy.  I do, however, think that once I get to the core of the religion issue and free myself of the condemnation, I’ll be able to move forward in every aspect of my life.  I believe that I eat to cover the intense emotion of failure and unworthiness.  If I can get through that barrier I’ve built around myself I think I’ll be better able to truly care for myself.

My thought processes to this point have been similar to:  You’re going to hell anyway so why care what you eat or how much?  OR  Everyone thinks your worthless anyway so dig in.  OR  Your father thinks you’re a slut so build this BIG wall around your body so no one will want to touch you.  OR  If you make yourself miserable with food it can serve as your punishment for not being perfect.

So do you see now how this could be a huge breakthrough for me?  Self care and listening to my own body has been alien to me.  Someone else was always leading my thought processes.  Of course, now I’m seeing where the choice is mine on how to live my life.  I think another reason I’ve put off working on this issue is the fear of failure once again.  I’ve been led to believe that I “can’t” make the best decision for myself, that I need someone to always direct me and tell me if my decision is right.  I’ve never been led to believe that I can trust my own intuition.

So that’s why I’m talking about religion on this blog.  The number one reason is because AGR and I agreed when we first started this blog that we would use it to better ourselves and to further our recovery.  Another reason is because I see a huge correlation in the rules and judgments of my past religion to the “religion of dieting” – so many do’s and don’ts, rights and wrongs, leaving no room for human imperfection or intutiveness on the part of the individual.

I can tell you that since I’ve blogged about this particular issue, it feels as if a burden has been lifted from my heart.  I see mornings in a whole new light and see each day as a new beginning instead of a continuation of guilt from the days, months and years in my past.  My outlook on life is the best now that I believe it’s ever been.

If you’ve made it through yet another long and rambling post of mine, my thanks go out to you.  Thank you for being there with me and supporting me.

~sas

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beauty.jpg beauty image by lebanese_queen30

Being a recovery goddess brings with it a certain amount of responsibility.  It takes a certain type of person to be a recovery goddess (mind you, not a recovery FAIRY but a recovery goddess).  It takes flair, gumption, spunk, patience and objectivity.

There’s a certain maturity that comes with being a recovery goddess.  The open mindedness that one has to have comes with the life experiences a goddess has under her belt…the good life experiences and the bad. 

A goddess has the ability to reflect back on past circumstances and leave them in the past.  A goddess has the ability to see what’s right in front of her and be appreciative of it.  A goddess also has the ability to see that the future has so much to offer if she only takes the time to cultivate it.

A recovery goddess sees where she is at the moment and accepts it.  If a goddess sees that change is in order, then so be it.  A goddess is self-assured and it shows by the way she conducts herself….head held high, smile and a nod of acknowledgement.  A goddess lives in the moment and not amid the “what ifs” and “if onlys”.

A recovery goddess knows she’s not alone and that she is surrounded by other goddesses all the time.  Judgement is reserved for the actions of others and not the appearance of others.  Goddesses of all sorts exist everywhere. 

We can all be recovery goddesses (and are!) and we can be here to support and encourage each other.  Can you think of other attributes that would qualify one to be a recovery goddess?

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